Choose the right life partner for you
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw famously said, ‘Love is a gross exaggeration of the difference between one person and everybody else’. Over the course of a lifetime, however, these ‘small differences’ can really add up; incompatibilities can result in relationship misery, while compatibilities lead to a satisfying and fulfilling partnership.
But how do you go about selecting the right life partner for you?
From a psychological perspective, character similarity is one of the strongest predictors of long-lasting relationships. Dr Noam Shpancer from Psychology Today1 explains, ‘On almost every parameter of background, personality, values, and experience, we prefer someone who has a lot in common with us over someone who is totally different from us’. It makes sense; if you date someone who is similar to you, you’re more likely to feel understood because you both come from the same social and cultural worlds. That’s the reason our matchmaking system aims to pair like-minded singles – it’s the most likely way you’ll find a compatible life partner and enjoy a loving, long-lasting relationship.
Three traits of a strong partnership:
Friendship is the foundation for any resilient romantic relationship. Sure, heated romance might bring two people together, but it’s friendship that keeps things going when the rose-tinted glasses start to fade away. So when you’re choosing a life partner, look to your current friendships and think about the sort of people you tend to gravitate towards. Likely, you’re friends with people who make you laugh, who are fun to be around, who offer stimulating conversation, and who have similar interests as you do; these things stoke the fire for a long-lasting friendship. Similarly, picking a partner with friend-like qualities is the best thing you can do to ensure your relationship has what it needs to last the distance.
No-one is perfect, and as hard as it is to hear, that includes you and any potential partner you’ll come across. So when it comes to partner choice, it’s vital that you see someone for everything they are - the good, the bad and the ugly - and then decide whether you’re able to accept their shortcomings. After all, a lifetime is a rather long time to spend focusing on faults, and as psychologist Salama Marine explains, 'the basis of a healthy relationship stems from the freedom to be yourself without fear of the reaction from your partner' 2. So choose a partner whose weaknesses are accepted as part of an otherwise-wonderful package; your relationship will stand in good stead to bear life’s inevitable ups and downs.
READ MORE: Make the right partner choice for you - what influences your route to the one?